Life is real, God has a plan for all of us

Published 2:57 pm Friday, September 4, 2015

Included among my bad choices is giving in to the urge to have a late night snack before going to bed.  Sometimes it is fresh fruit, but too often it is a sweet and creamy bowl of ice cream; not the low fat or sugar free variety, but the real deal–complete with fat, cholesterol and calories.

Sometimes during those moments of weakness I go to the next level and turn the ice cream into a milkshake!  On one of those occasions as I went to work pouring in all my preferred ingredients, I noticed a warning on a jar of cherries that I had never noticed before:  “Real cherries.  May contain pitts.”  It was good to know that the cherries were real and not plastic, and I have eaten enough fresh cherries to know that biting down unexpectedly on a cherry seed is something that must be carefully avoided.  So, having been properly reminded about the potential adversity that I was introducing into my delicious snack, I proceeded to enjoy the concoction of goodies that I had created.  I did not allow the possibility of the unknown to get in my way.

Life is like what the label said about my jar of cherries:  it is real and it does sometimes have some hard places.  Nevertheless, we must continue on in life striving to honor and serve our God Who created and sustains life, and offers us the opportunity to receive eternal life through believing upon Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for our sin.
Many individuals in the Bible experienced circumstances in which they were reminded of the realities of life and the hard places that it sometimes led them to.  Yet they did not give up on life because they had confidence that God had a better tomorrow in store for them.

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Among those of the Old Testament who suffered greatly yet maintained his faith in God was a man known as Job.  He knew that life was real; God had blessed and prospered him tremendously, but through a series of events so devastating that most of us cannot even begin to identify with what he faced, he found himself stripped of virtually everything he had ever owned and enjoyed.  Even as he struggled with his losses, Job spoke these words:  “But He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.  My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.  I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:10-12, New International Version).

Job understood firsthand the realities of life and the pain of adversity, yet he maintained his faith in God.  That certainly did not mean that he welcomed what came against him; he struggled with it like any mortal man would.  But his strength to endure was found as he trusted God:  “I have kept to His way without turning aside.”
Life is good because God created it, but it does sometimes contain the undesirable and hurtful.  Even with the awareness of those possibilities and probabilities of hardship, we can press on with life with the assurance that God has a bigger plan than ours and His plan is always superior.